Track & Field Athlete To Watch: Jarrin Solomon
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/22/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 22, 2005

by Andrea Winter

Freshman Jarrin Solomon

UNM's track program snagged La Cueva High School graduate Jarrin Solomon at the last minute.Solomon originally planned to attend school in North Carolina on a soccer scholarship, but changed his mind at the last minute.

"I though that going to my hometown school would be good because I didn't want to go away, hate it, and then have to come back," Solomon said.

The 5-7 freshman said that running track wasn't something he planned on doing in college because he focused on soccer in high school.

"I didn't have to practice track at all because the coaches just wanted me to run at the meets, so coming here and practicing every day has been a big change," Solomon said. "But I have seen my times drop really fast so I guess it's good."

Solomon comes from track royalty, his father, Mike, being a two-time All-American and two-time Olympian that graduated from UNM in 1977. The elder Solomon won the 600-yard dash at the 1977 NCAA Indoor Championships, grabbed four-straight 600 titles, one 440 crown, was a member of the Lobos' three-time WAC champion mile relay team indoors and part of the outdoor record-setting 4x400m relay team. Solomon competed in the 1976 Montreal games and 1980 Moscow Olympics.

"You don't want to say that it puts pressure on you, but it motivates me," Solomon said, about his father.

Solomon said that his father, never puts pressure on him, but pushes him to do well and get faster times. "He will compare my times with his times when he was a freshman," Solomon said, "but he is encouraging."

When asked if he feels any pressure from his coaches, Solomon said, "My coaches think I can be as good as my dad so they push me because they see the potential. It's very positive." Solomon's father ran track at UNM with Matt Henry, now head track coach.

On the track Solomon said that his father is the biggest influence in his life because he is so knowledgeable about the sport, but also said that his mother was a big influence as well. "She always pushes me in school and track, even if she doesn't know that a 45 [second time in the 400] is impossible to get right now," Solomon said.

Solomon said that his goal for the rest of the 2005 season is to run a 47-second 400, but he aims to improve it to 45 seconds by his junior year. "I would try to go pro if I get it down to 45," Solomon said.

Solomon said that he didn't always plan on following in his father's footsteps. "I just don't like to get beat by anyone- that's what really pushes me."

"I want to compete in the Olympics in 2008- that would be my ultimate goal."